Not the Moulin Rouge

1 New High Street,
Headington,
Oxford, OX3

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Not the Moulin Rouge

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Headington district of Oxford, at the corner of New High Street and London Road. The New Cinema was built by Edwin James Hall and was designed by local Oxford architect J.C. Leed. The entrance was on New High Street, and the auditorium was built in the rear garden of Edwin Hall’s house at 9 London Road. It was opened on 5th October 1923 with the Fritz Lang film “Dr. Mabuse, de Spieler” (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler) and “Lilac Sunbonnet”. Seating was provided on a single floor. The proscenium was 22 feet wide.

It was re-named Headington Cinema in 1929, and in 1930 it was equipped with sound-on-disc. In 1933 this was replaced by a Film Industries(FI) sound system.

From 1st January 1960, it came under new ownership and was later renovated. It was re-named Cine Moulin Rouge, opening with “Black Orpheus” on 23rd January 1961. Several operators came and went, and it was closed on 27th August 1977 with “Benji” and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad”. It re-opened on 12th September 1977 with “California Split” and “Bite the Bullet” only to close again on 15th July 1978 with “Sex Sisters” and “Girls for Rent”. Another operator took over on 6th August 1978 continuing to screen sexploitation films, and when his company went bankrupt, the Cine Moulin Rouge was closed again on 20th March 1980 with “Daughter of Emanuelle” and “Mondo Erotica”.

Taken over on 1st November 1980 by Bill Heine of the Penultimate Picture Palace, it re-opened as Not the Moulin Rouge with Roman Polanski’s “Tess”. He came into a battle with the city planners when he mounted a sculpture of two high kicking can-can dancing legs on the facade of the building. The planners lost the battle, and the sculpture became somewhat a tourist attraction. Operating as an art house cinema, Not the Moulin Rouge was closed suddenly on 12th May 1991 with Jean Renoir’s “La Regle du Jeu” (Rules of the Game).

The building was demolished later in 1991 and housing has been built on the site. The sculpture legs have been transferred to the Duke of York’s Cinema, Brighton, where they hang from the facade today.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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